Collaboration in a Crisis - A Memo from COVID-19

As the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic spread across the world, commentators deliberated: Is this the end of globalization as we know it? 

The fact that the virus is transmitted through human contact, combined with the ease of modern travel, quickly turned COVID-19 into an international crisis. In the short-term, this led to border closures and physical distancing orders.

The long-term impacts this pandemic will have on integration are unknown. Globalization had been in retreat for years prior to the crisis, with trade declining as a proportion of global economic output, the rise of populist governments, and a gradual tightening of national borders.

COVID-19 has provoked an impulse to pull integration back further and given fodder to those willing to leverage the crisis to advance a nationalist political agenda. At the same time, COVID-19 is amplifying the essential nature of cooperation, both within and across countries, and the need for institutions that enable it. While global trade and investment patterns will undoubtedly shift in response, and internal relationships may be re-examined, the pandemic presents an invaluable opportunity to drive deeper collaboration. Here is why.